Kings' Anze Kopitar to go along for the ride for Game 5
Center Anze Kopitar, out for the season after tearing ligaments in his right ankle March 26 and undergoing surgery a few days later, plans to accompany the team to San Jose for Game 5 of the Kings' first-round playoff series Saturday against the Sharks. He flew north on his own last week for Game 2 but this time will get a seat on the team plane.
"I got promoted," he said, smiling.
He's wearing a removable walking boot now instead of the cast he had initially, but he's still using forearm crutches. He said he hopes to begin doing some upper-body exercises to keep his weight in check and keep busy.
"It's coming along, I guess," he said of the healing process. He said he was told not to put weight on the leg for another three weeks, "but I'm hoping it's a little less.”
He said the trip to San Jose last week was his idea and was strategically timed.
"I thought for Game 1 it would be a little uncomfortable still to fly. A couple of extra days really helped me, and I felt more comfortable," he said.
"The thing is, the day in between would be uncomfortable for me because I pretty much wouldn't be able to move. I wouldn't have my girl or my mom around to take care of me. It was nice to fly up there and fly right back."
He said he was impressed with his teammates' performance in their 4-0 victory at HP Pavilion.
"They did a great job. All around, I think Game 2 was one of the best games we've played in a long time," he said. "It was a good collective effort, and we're looking for the same game tonight."
Check back soon for more, from Dustin Penner, at www.latimes.com/sports.
-- Helene Elliott
Photo: Anze Kopitar. Credit: Kirby Lee / US Presswire